e-book The Heart of Justice: Care Ethics and Political Theory

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The book as a whole makes the case for care ethics as an equal or superior approach to morality and politics compared with liberalism, luck egalitarianism, libertarianism, the capabilities approach, communitarianism, and other political theories.

The volume includes many of the leading care scholars in the world today engaging in both theoretical and applied discussions of this burgeoning field of study. Ultimately, Care Ethics and Political Theory endeavors to find realistic methods and ways of thinking to create a more caring world. More Philosophy.

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But Is It Art? Justice Michael J. Integrating the insights of earlier care theorists with the concerns of traditional justice theorists, the author forges a new synthesis between care and justice, and further argues that the institutional and policy commitments of care theory must be recognized as central to any adequate theory of justice.

It then systematically demonstrates the implications of It then systematically demonstrates the implications of this account of caring for domestic politics, economics, international relations, and culture. In each of these areas, it reviews the contributions of earlier care theorists and then extends their arguments to provide a more complete description of the institutions and policies of a caring society. Care ethics is further put in dialogue with diverse cultural and religious traditions and used to address the challenges of multicultural justice, cultural relativism, and international human rights.

More fully than other works on care theory, this book provides an overarching account of the institutions and policies of a caring society. Keywords: care ethics , culture , economics , feminism , international relations , justice , politics , public policy. Forgot password?

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All Rights Reserved. For example, a few novel proposals have been made to use parental leave legislations as a vehicle to address issues of gender injustice, including one by Philippe Van Parijs himself Van Parijs and Vielle , Brighouse and Olin-Wright , Gheaus and Robeyns I will start by arguing that any attempt at addressing care as an issue of justice is faced with a dilemma between the revaluation of care on the one hand, and the redistribution of care on the other.

[Guest Script] Ethic of Care vs Ethic of Justice - MGTOW

So from the perspective of justice we would need to both revalue as well as redistribute care work; however, revaluation is likely to lead to a deepening of the inequalities in the distribution of care work, whereas redistribution will not happen as long as care work is undervalued. We thus seem to be faced with a deadlock. Yet since I think the tension is practical and not fundamental, our task should be to use our imagination to find a solution to solve the dilemma.

The Heart of Justice: Care Ethics and Political Theory

Rather, we are born as extremely vulnerable babies who are fully dependent on the care given to us by others. Following Bubeck ch. IV; , we can define care as the face-to-face activities that meet basic needs of those who cannot meet these needs themselves. We cannot survive if we are not given dedicated, time-intensive attention and hands-on care in the first years of our lives, and we continue to be dependent on care work by others throughout our lives, possibly becoming again heavily dependent on hands-on care at old age or in periods of illness and disability.

Some human beings remain dependent on fulltime care throughout their lives, such as the severely disabled Kittay In addition to the hands-on care that is done by care workers, the majority of care that dependents receive is unpaid work done by caregivers.

These are generally relatives parents or adult children , friends, neighbours and volunteers. It is often, whether exclusively or partly, a labour of love: it is something that caregivers primarily do out of love, sympathy and commitment for those who are dependent. Without being properly cared for, human beings risk being treated in an inhumane way, which could violate their dignity.

In short, care is crucial for our survival, and for being able to live a dignified life. Why is this the case?


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We know from time budget studies that people with significant care responsibilities experience a strong pressure on their time allocation, as care work competes with other activities, especially paid work on the labour market. Put differently, people with care responsibilities for children, the elderly and the disabled, are very likely to be in a time-crunch if they are struggling to combine caring for dependents with holding a job independent whether having a job is only motivated by the income it generates, or also by other aspirations, such as playing a role in public life or developing a professional identity.

One of the consequences of informal care work are therefore its costs to the care worker, since it amounts to significant foregone earnings Folbre There are several explanations for this. One explanation is that those who need care generally have limited purchasing power; so the equilibrium price for care work will not be very high. Moreover, care work is very labour intensive, and hence there are few technological gains to be made that can drive down the costs of care work.

Finally, people who bear the largest burdens of care work tend to be poorly organized and weakly represented both politically as well as with respect to labour unions; hence no-one is really defending their interests at the political level. People specializing in care work are likely to feel isolated, not able to develop all their skills and talents, often lack sufficient meaningful conversations with other adult human beings, have limited autonomy over their work and working conditions, and, for the less enjoyable forms of care, experience much higher levels of stress and risk of burn-out.

Moreover, being out of the formal labour market for a while has been shown to have a life-long depressing effect on the earnings of care workers, increasing the risk of poverty after divorce or at retirement age. In particular, women do the vast majority of care work, especially unpaid care work. This is part of the gender division of labour, whereby men do much more of the paid market work, whereas women do much more of the unpaid household work and care work.

The current social institutions in western societies only aggravate this situation, for example by discrimination in leave legislations after the baby is born, which discourages fathers from caring for their newborn, and more or less forces mothers to do so Foubert , Robeyns In addition, most jobs are still modelled around the assumption that the employee is free from care duties whether care for infants, children, dependent elderly, or any other form of care.

This, together with the less favourable conditions for part-time work compared to full-time work in most Western societies, provides more disincentives for couples to share paid work and unpaid care work genuinely equally compared with a semi traditional gender division of labour.

The Heart of Justice: Care Ethics and Political Theory - Daniel Engster - Google Books

Yet with a few exceptions, the vast majority of political philosophers who have analysed the gender division of labour have argued that it is unjust, and generally to the disadvantage of women. If it were the case that care is scare, that care work would be undervalued, and come with certain nonfinancial burdens — but at the same time the distribution of care work were equal, would there then still be an issue of justice here? I would expect that in this situation the issues of injustice between care givers would be drastically reduced, perhaps even dissolve completely — but that there would most likely be an undersupply of care work, which would harm those in need of care.

So even under a distribution of care work which would guarantee justice between care givers , there could still be an issue of justice for care recipients — the dependent children, frail elderly, disabled and ill. Yet clearly the main case for arguing that there is an injustice between care givers comes from the conjunction of the first three reasons with the issue of the unequal distribution of care work.

While there may be more reasons then the ones mentioned here, the above four reasons provide, in my view, sufficient ground to consider care to be an issue of justice. On the one hand, given the importance of care for those cared for and also for a humane and just society, we should try to revaluate care : either by paying those who care a decent wage, or else by providing them e.


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